Mission of Mercy: Volunteers reflect on life changing mission - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mission of Mercy: Volunteers reflect on life changing mission

"The people coming through have just been awesome; thousands of people. They are here before we get here and they are here well after we leave," said Van Johnson. "I think it is great for us to be able to provide some type of assistance." "The people coming through have just been awesome; thousands of people. They are here before we get here and they are here well after we leave," said Van Johnson. "I think it is great for us to be able to provide some type of assistance."

By: Dawn Baker - bio| email

KONONGO VILLAGE, GHANA (WTOC) - People  from the US and Canada came together to volunteer for a common cause in Konongo Village; to help the villagers in anyway possible.

"The people coming through have just been awesome; thousands of people. They are here before we get here and they are here well after we leave," said Van Johnson. "I think it is great for us to be able to provide some type of assistance."

"It's been an exciting and rewarding experience," said Dr. Ann Linton-Maynard. "I am just amazed at the need that is here to be able to do something to help the patients."

The volunteers worked some very long hours trying to see as many patients as possible. By week's end, the team of nearly 30 volunteers, made up of just 5 medical doctors, had treated 2,716 people.

"I am really, really delighted and grateful to God that this small team of volunteers from the US and Canada were able to work together as a team and make things happen," said Dr. Eugene NWOSU. "The Konongo people are very, very grateful for what help we were able to give them."

This mission team was like a dream come true for the people who live in Konongo Village. The villagers work hard mainly as farmers and traders, but they make very little money. Some told us they earn as little as $2 a day.

"Many of us in the United States are of meager means or making ends meet, but these folks the ends never meet," said Johnson. "So we are helping to bridge that gap even if it is just for a week."

In spite of what the villagers don't have, they seem to get along pretty well with what they do have.

"I see people here and in many ways they seem happier than people in the US because in a lot of ways there isn't this constant desire to get more," said Dr. Ilam Bornstein. "People are happy with what they have and the family ties are strong here which make people happier."

For many of the volunteers it's these kind, gracious people who make them want to keep doing whatever it takes to go on these medical missions year after year.

"It didn't take but one trip for me to know like other returning volunteers that I just had to come back and a chance to come back and help a whole new variety of people it's a fantastic feeling," said Ryan Trettien.

"I feel like I get more out of it than I put into to it. You realize how blessed you are with all the things that you have," said Beth Heape. "To me it is just a way to give back  and a way that I can  thank God for everything he's given me."

"Give us a chance to have you participate in this life changing mission by going to Ghana or Nigeria it's worth whatever it takes," said Dr. Nwosu.

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